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Walking the Years On
October 3, 2008
An optimist is the human personification of spring.
-Susan J. Bissonette
Walking can add years to your life and life to your years. This is what Dr. Roy Shephard of the University of Toronto reports in Work & Family Life (September 2008). According to Shephard, with age, your ability to consume oxygen declines; but vigorous walking for an hour a day, five days a week can boost your ability to consume oxygen by up to 25 percent. And that, he says, is enough to turn back the clock on 12 years of natural decline.

Improving your oxygen consumption means that your heart is pumping better and your muscles are able to receive and use more oxygen allowing you to perform better and longer. In the article, Dr. Shephard also suggested that aerobic exercise may extend a person's independence in other ways as well, such as fighting off other conditions that also take a toll: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and even some forms of cancer.

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Comments (1)

Displaying 1 Comment
Edna Ranck
Washington, DC, United States
10/03/2008 09:35 am

Walking includes climbing as well; if you can take the stairs, up or down, do it. Count the stairs to create a Step Record or wear a pedometer, just to learn how much exercise you are getting. If you live in a city with escalators, walk up and down them regularly to boost your daily effort. Standing on an escalator seems to violate the whole purpose of steps.

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